Book Review: Marked for Vengeance by S.J. Pierce

Marked for Vengeance
The Alyx Rayer Chronicles #1
Author S.J. Pierce
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Epic Fantasy/Paranormal
Released: October 10th 2012
Review Source: Author
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) Alyx Rayer’s existence in Atlanta, the eternally bustling capital of Georgia, is one of routine and blending in among the worker bees. But her ‘normal’ life is actually a façade for a higher calling; she's a three hundred year old soul, encased in a human vessel and sent from the darkness between heaven and Earth to capture her Marked when summoned by her superiors.

During the initial, routine stake-out of her Marked, a dream prophet named Isaac Walsh, Alyx is thrown for an emotional loop when his allure captivates her heart from two rooftops away. The event marks the very instance when her sense of what’s right and what’s wrong is brutally challenged as her contact with him is strictly forbidden.

While already trapped between honor and desire, her emotional struggles are further challenged by a man in a black suit who continually pops up when she least expects it, his presence evoking a strange response from the scar she was branded with at birth. The scar tingles like a warning beacon, alerting her that something is amiss. Because her superiors never told her what this would mean, or much of anything except what to do when they summon, she can only conclude to try and keep her sanity, and her life, from completely shattering to pieces.

This engaging first book of the series is a Paranormal Romance novel interlaced with twists, turns, and thrilling suspense that is sure to satisfy readers of any genre.

You experience the third birth of Alyx Rayer as her soul is brought to life in her third and final human form. It is a painful transformation, that upon completion, requires her to take on the immediate appearance of a 25 year old human. Each of her kind must endure this process as they prepare to take their place on Earth monitoring the existence of their "marked" human. They are created for the sole purpose of fulfilling their mission. Initially when arriving on Earth, they seek out their marked person to be sure they are close by, but once that is done contact is forbidden until they are instructed to remove the marked one from Earth. Nothing else matters as they slip into place interacting daily with unsuspecting humans. Working, eating, socializing and exercising everyday to impeccably maintaining the human facade.

Alyx's unquestionable beauty is something that is always noticed by others. Clothes and shoes are a passion she indulges while she waits out her time on Earth. The stunning 5'10 body, flawless complexion and waves of long hair were given to her upon her creation. Although she appreciates the external beauty, she knows her time in this body is only temporary. Any friendships she makes, any relationships that she might become involved in will end without explanation when she is signaled to contact her "marked" thus ending her time on Earth. Additionally, the unexpected death of a marked one will also end their time on Earth. Even with this knowledge, and unlike her former lives, she has bonded with two humans while living in Atlanta, Georgia. Cindra, a coworker, who has become a close friend through their daily contact and Benjamin, the gorgeous doctor, who after a year of dating seems to be hoping to take their relationship to the next level. Something that Alyx knows can never happen because of her secrets.

Issac is a handsome widower and single dad. He and his son, Micah, are both tormented with horrible vivid nightmares. Issac channels this images into his art but Micah is afraid that the terrible creatures in his room at night are not really dreams at all. Issac wakes to Micah's terrified screams almost every night. Issac, who is a gifted artist, works as a waiter to help pay the bills while he prepares his collection of paintings for a showing. The dark and violent nature of his and Micah's dreams comes to life in the hauntingly beautiful artwork he creates at night while Micah sleeps. Sometimes as he sits in front of his large open windows in his loft and paints he "feels" as if he is being watched. He looks across the night into the abandoned building but as the shadows shift he shakes off the sensation and continues painting. But the reality is that Issac is being watched. Against her better judgement, Alyx returns night after night as she is inexplicably drawn to seek out Issac. The passion and pull she feels toward him is forbidden. The intricate internal game she plays with herself feels like a betrayal of the relationship she shares with Benjamin but her feelings for Benjamin don't begin to touch the illicit desire that consumes her when she watches her "painter man".

As Issac and Micah's fates unfold and Alyx is called to complete the task she was sent to accomplish, devastation and death will touch those closest to Alyx. Her secret infatuation and adoration has long reaching consequences as Alyx is forced to make life threatening choices to deliver Issac as mandated.

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